Baltimore is known for its grit, hustle, and edges. Drive down the 1-10 and the industrial city looks like little more than train tracks surrounded by abandoned warehouses. In short, Baltimore is not exactly the first place you would think of when planning an East Coast vacation, nor is it the first place you think of when you’re looking to write a feminist city guide—but it should be.
Turns out, Charm City is full of incredibly talented entrepreneurial women who have reinvented parts of their city and are making Baltimore one of our new favorite East Coast cities for a holiday. “Baltimore is gritty,” describes Donna Crivello, owner of the local Sicilian restaurant Cosima. “The people who stay here do it because they love it.”
Walk this self-guided tour of Baltimore, and you’ll find that same passion is contagious amongst the various shop owners and restauranteurs that continue to inject the city with creativity. Whether opening a museum for Baltimore’s self-taught artists (American Visionary Art Museum) or starting an empowering women’s street festival (HONfest), Charm City may just have earned its nickname from the bevy of talented entrepreneurial women who are behind the scenes.
From women-owned restaurants and bar programs to sex-positive lingerie shops, the following local businesses and their owners are putting Baltimore on the map in a new and exciting way.